Environment Initiative announces faculty fellow for spring 2022

Sarah Stapleton

The Environment Initiative at the University of Oregon has named Sarah Stapleton, an assistant professor in the College of Education, as its faculty fellow for spring 2022, as part of a new program funded by the Office of the Provost.

The Environment Initiative Faculty Fellows Program aims to enhance transdisciplinary research and advance the Initiative’s strategic priorities. Faculty fellows will receive a course buyout to complete a project that contributes to the goals of the initiative, which include leveraging environmental research and teaching toward social and environmental justice.

As the Environment Initiative faculty fellow, Stapleton will move forward an interdisciplinary effort to create — in coordination with a team of Oregon teachers and Beyond Toxics, a grassroots environmental justice organization — an interdisciplinary, environmental justice high school curriculum. Stapleton will organize and facilitate a summer institute to provide collaboration time and feedback for master teachers to co-build the curriculum around Oregon environmental justice case studies as told through community health data collected by Beyond Toxics.

“Professor Stapleton’s leadership on climate justice and environmental education makes her an ideal choice for this fellowship,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips. “Her proposed project for creating an environmental justice curriculum for Oregon K-12 teachers is innovative and bound to be impactful.” 

Stapleton’s research, teaching, and community service working toward climate justice and environment education align with the Environment Initiative’s mission and exemplify its guiding principles.

“Sarah’s instructional and mentoring excellence is widely recognized by students, peers and teaching colleagues,” said Randy Kamphaus, the dean of the College of Education. 

Stapleton’s work is among the nation’s best, said Jenefer Husman, who leads the Department of Education Studies.

“As a nationally recognized environmental education scholar Sarah is a fantastic choice for this fellowship,” Husman said. “Her curriculum will reflect the state-of-the-art in environmental education.”

John Arroyo, an assistant professor of engaging diverse communities in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the College of Design, was appointed as the inaugural faculty fellow for fall 2021. Arroyo also is the director of the Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice, a regional collaboration led by UO.

The Environment Initiative focuses the intellectual energy and work of faculty members, students and community partners on working toward a just and livable future through transdisciplinary research, teaching and experiential learning. The effort is part of the UO’s academic initiatives, dedicated efforts to collaborate across disciplines, translate discovery for societal benefit, and develop the next generation of leaders and problem solvers.